University of Buffalo receives grant to fight superbugs with old antibiotics

The National Institutes of Health recently awarded scientists at the University of Buffalo (UB) a $4.4 million grant to develop new dosing regimens for antibiotics designed to fight superbugs resistant to modern medicine.

The researches will use polymyxins, a class of antibiotics developed more than 50 years ago. The antibiotics were not subject to modern drug development standards and have proved to be toxic to the kidneys and nervous system, and are also useful in the treatment of superbugs including Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumonia and other bacteria that are resistant to modern medicine.

Those superbugs can cause a variety of diseases, including pneumonia and other respiratory diseases, as well as serious blood or wound infections.

"This is a massive public health problem because the emergence of these new highly resistant strains has been coupled with a dwindling pipeline of development and approval for new drugs," Brian Tsuji, an associate professor and director of clinical research at UB's Department of Pharmacy Practice, said. "Therefore, we needed to think innovatively and differently about how to attack this problem."

Tsuji will lead the UB project with a team of international scientists.

The grant is the largest ever given from the NIH to the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Organizations in this Story

National Institutes of Health

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